Sunday, August 26, 2018 | 14th Sunday After Pentecost
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
Ephesians 6:10-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
Paul’s final word to the Ephesians is this:
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power…
Everything that Paul says after this is simply an expansion of this thought. Paul goes on to tell us what we need to be strong in the Lord and how to stand in the Lord’s power. This passage bears repeating, especially when we think that we are fighting against one another in the church – it’s not brother vs. sister, but it is the unseen world that causes us difficulty. This is what we battle. That’s why we need to be prepared for battle. The whole armor of God helps us to stand – to stand firm. Much like the single student did in Tiananmen Square.
If we put on the full armor of God we can stand against the plot of the evil one. How do we do that? We put on:
- The belt of truth
- The breastplate or armor of righteousness
- The shoes of peace – that spread the Good News
- The shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts of the devil
- The helmet of salvation
- The Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.
We often talk about these six but forget what Paul mentions next and that is praying…Paul says we should pray at all times – and on all occasions. Be persistent – persevere in your prayers. Pray for all the believers everywhere who are living out this life of faith and fighting the same battles you are.
Last pray for those who are preaching the Gospel – those leading churches – so that the Gospel is no longer a mystery, but can be known. Pray for those of us who are ambassadors of God’s message.
Prayer is a powerful force that we often forget about – but one of the most important tools in the armor of God.